Thursday, March 15, 2007

Deliver Us from Religious Clergies!


To answer some comments on my previous post, I’m absolutely NOT subtly or openly urging people to become Muslims. Even as I’m not suggesting we should all become Jews or Christians. But if “enough people” (whatever that number must be) embraced the three religions’ COMBINED revelations about God and the Messiah He promised to send us, they could end the Religious War that is currently emerging throughout the world, in which militant Muslims seek to cleanse the earth of "infidels" (another name for “unbelievers”). Still, there remains the sad thought that no one with the slightest knowledge of religious history can reasonably expect “believers” to bring peace on earth!

To make “real peace” among themselves, members of all three religions would each have to alter some portion of their own manmade beliefs. But, in a typical example of “religious unity,” Muslims, Christians and Jews, alike, have always been unwilling to alter any part of their own beliefs! So, each embraces their own clergy’s interpretations of their own Sacred Book — interpretations that have provoked hatreds and wars throughout their shared religious history. And those are the same interpretations that are now driving us into a “shared” nuclear war.

Of course, so many self-centered Christians are so convinced they will be “whisked away” before violence consumes the rest of the world that they have no incentive to alter their own understanding. And stubborn Jews are so accustomed to being persecuted and ostracized, they have long since closed their ears and their minds to the beliefs of “outsiders.” And self-satisfied Muslims believe, so thoroughly, that the whole world will someday be “Islamic”— in whatever way they define “Islam” — they can scarcely bring themselves to denounce the violence their “extremist” members are wreaking. After all, what the “fanatics” are doing could be “God’s Will.”

So, here we are with each religious family too convinced their understanding is too right to be altered. Each convinced the others should change. Each “deep-down” resigned to enduring whatever happens or gladly anticipating their own “deliverance.” And each convinced that all they can do is urge their fellowmen to “convert” or urge them to practice “tolerance” — as though “believers” have ever proven truly tolerant of other beliefs for more than an occasional public minute!

All the while, Jews need to recognize the world’s Messiah, rejected by their presumptuous clergy, because Jesus did not do what they expected the Messiah to do for them -- as though the Messiah had to perform his propheised acts on their schedule! And Christians need to recognize Abraham’s One and Only unseen God, revealed throughout the Hebrew Scriptures, which introduced Him to the world. Instead, Christians are taught by their brazen clergy to say "God" but mean "Jesus," instead of revering the God to Whom Jesus prayed! And Muslims need to recognize that they have not become God’s “chosen people,” whose “Holy Land” has been usurped by Jewish “infidels” supported by Christian “infidels,” as their egotistical clergy declares!


Sam said...

Well said. Even if you don't give much "hope" for a solution. Maybe it's that old adage that we need to change one person at a time ...

jbd said...

THANK YOU SAM. Not only for the "well said" comment, but for understanding this IS a "one person at a time" project. Of course, once there are "enough" enlightened "individuals," the understanding could grow at a much faster rate. But, of course it's a project with infinite "strikes against" its success. But, even if it can't change the world's direction before a nuclear war erupts, an enlarged uncerstanding can greatly help individuals maintain their own "sanity" through a nuclear winter.

Anonymous said...

Jane B.--Do you really comprehend what you are expecting "believers" to do? What you're saying might make sense, but it'll never, never never happen. Christians, Jews and Muslims will never change their beliefs until they've blown us all to hell! And frankly I hope some of my "fellow Christians" go first, since they're so sure they'll never go there. Believers are a bunch of arrogant people,pretending to be humble while they're too proud to consider they could need to learn more! They drove me "out of the church" many years ago with their nonsensical reasoning!

Munzareen said...

Hmm.. you came to my blog one day and then I realized you were only there copying and pasting your blog post. Not to comment on mine (The Amman Message). I'm almost positive you did that to get more hits from mine. My post was about a concerted effort that was intrafaith (though of course there are many interfaith ones as well).

Anyhow.. I just wanted to say that there are some misinterpretations in what you said. First off, you have to realize that if anyone believes their religion to be divine, why on earth would they alter it? That does not make it a religion because it does not come from any Higher Being. It has now been tainted with human philosophy or human hands. I understand that obviously people are the ones who come with revelation and people are the ones that interpret them. However, adding something new to a religion adulterates its message.

Besides that, how can you make claims that Jews have to accept the Messiah? If they don't believe Jesus was it, then what can you really say to alter their minds. Christians and Muslims believe it. How can you say " they can scarcely bring themselves to denounce the violence their “extremist” members are wreaking" about Muslims? Have you not paid attention to news that wasn't mainstream? There have been scholars upon scholars of Islam that denounce terrorism and condemn it. As with any group there will be people that endorse a certain message and the majority of people more often than not won't. And the reason that it is not always mainstream media that picks up upon it is not because it is not a big effort but more because if you studied media you would understand that the media is sensationalized and that violence and strife catch more attention than do messages of peace and love.

Regardless,of course there needs to be unity and tolerance but you can't expect people to completely alter what they believe in to attain peace. Just as you can't expect wealthier nations in the UN to always do the best for the common good (because they must also act in their own interests) you can't always expect the same of individuals.

Anyhow, I suppose that's a pessimistic view.. But I understand how key it is to tolerate others even if you don't agree with one another.

Also, I would urge you to double check what you wrote because there really are a few comments you make that aren't true besides the one about Muslims not denouncing terrorists (actually here's just ONE link from an organization that denounces terrorism:

Munzareen said...

I wasn't very annoyed with you, however I did think some statements in that post were well.. interesting. For instance disbeliever does not equal infidel and the Arabic would explain that.

I understand your point though. The Prophets did all come with the same message of monotheism and you're right. Sometimes what clergy teach is not what the revelation dictates. I guess that is also why you can have the Muslims who loudly proclaim terrorism is not sanctioned by Islam, while those who desire to prove it is will use other verses to back up their claims.

I didn't get much time to browse over your site or understand your purpose of the blog or anything, but I guess after your second comment I understand better what you mean even though looking solely at your post, your point isn't as clear.

However, at least within Islam there are chains of narration that lead up to the Prophet Muhammad (may peace and blessings be upon him) that serve to kind of be a mark of a scholar. I don't know if I am explaining this justly but one of the things that gives someone a better reputation in the intellectual Islam world is that whoever they were taught from (and given permission to teach from) has learned under a scholar who has learned from a scholar so on and so forth until the Prophet Muhammad (may peace and blessings be upon Him). So the individual isn't necessarily capable of going back to the primary texts and analyizing for themselves without intense deep study and knowledge of the intricacies of the Arabic language and other primary texts. So maybe this isn't what you were getting at when you said, "I am simply acquainting people with the Hebrew, Christian and Muslim Scriptures themselves, instead of the bitterly divisive interpretations we’ve received from the clergies of all three religions." However, as with any subject I do believe that when you do not know, you defer to someone who does. Now of course analyzing and asessing for yourself how qualified a person is to learn from is an individual's duty. Of course there are a plethora of items that will divide adherents of all faiths, but again there are many interfaith efforts that promote understanding between all 3 religions.

I may be getting off topic and being overly verbose, but anyhow that's my two cents.

Thanks for writing back :)

Munzareen said...

I can't give you a sufficient answer so please take what I say with a grain of salt and possibly research it further. First off, as I am sure you know translations never do the real language justice. Now to us Americans who probably learned Spanish or French or Italian we may think the translation can't be too far off from the original. These languages are structured in a similar way. But as I'm sure Jews can tell you, Semitic languages (like Hebrew and Arabic) are very different. The slightest vowel change can change the entire meaning of a word. This is actually why Muslims generally refer to the Qur'an in Arabic as the real Qur'an and any serious scholar will learn classical Arabic to understand the nuances of the language.

That being said, in English we have unsaid tone. So when one says infidel it is typically "offensive" and seems rather derogatory. If by "unbelievers" you mean non-Muslim, then no the term "kafir" does not necessarily apply to any non-Muslim. The root word for kafir is k-f-r which means to conceal or cover. Usually this term is for someone who knows the truth and hides it or denies it.

I can understand how you can make that connection but I would just be wary of it not because it's a game of semantics, but context or underlying tone plays a big role in conversation.

I know the answer isn't at all adequate, but I don't want to say something that is wrong in my understanding since I am not a native Arabic speaker.